So many fitness trackers!

If you’re trying to get healthy, there are a variety of products out there designed and advertised to help you.

Tracking steps is now a trend because we’re told we need to move more.

I’ve had my share of activity trackers and I want to share a bit about how they work:

1) Your iPhone comes with Health, which has motion tracking. If you keep your phone in your pocket as you move, you have a pretty good pedometer on hand at no additional cost. You can also download apps that can assist you with running or cycling, sleeping, and diet trackers. Some people are not as focused on health and weight loss – which in that case, this may very well be all you need!

Nevermind my funny little hand curl, Brielle and I are both wearing Sqords on our right arm.
2) Sqords. I absolutely love Sqords! It turns activity into a game. Movement gives you points and coins, which you can use on the website to upgrade your avatar or buy phrases. Because this was built to be safe for kids, they only allow players to send pre-approved phrases or high fives – making it safe for your kids to compete against strangers without risking their information. And did I mention how cheap it is? $35 plus shipping gets you a wristband with a lifetime membership to Sqord. However it doesn’t track steps or calories. Or heart rate. It converts all these things to points. Works great for kids if you, as a family, want to get active without making your children conscious about calorie burning.
3) Fitbits are probably the most popular. You track steps and compete with other friends who are fitbit users for bragging rights. But they come in different models and you really need to read the specs! A basic pedometer doesn’t track your heart rate, elevation, and is completely useless if you’re pushing a stroller or riding a bike. The most advanced fitbit will do all that and display the text messages from your phone. I recommend one that at least tracks heart rate.
I’m really loving my Jawbone and the UP app !

4) I really like the Jawbone. I was gifted one and I’m pleasantly surprised with it! Looking like a bracelet it doesn’t have much of a display, but it’s tracking is wonderful. With a 14 day battery life you can also sleep with it and track your sleep as well. UP comes with nutrition and exercise coaching and syncs well with other apps. The one I have doesn’t read my heart rate but it does so good aside from that, that my husband and I won’t take ours off.

5) I also have an apple watch. It’s the sport model because that’s the priority. I’m not going to lie, an extension of your phone to your wrist is very convenient. I’m very spoiled in checking my watch to see if I need to respond to the notification immediately or my phone can stay in my purse a little longer. Fitness wise, the Apple watch is amazing! Heart rate monitor on live display. Set activity goals. You can swim with it! In and of itself it has all the functions of an activity tracker that you like BUT it doesn’t play well with others. So you lose the friendly competition you can have with other activity trackers. It also doesn’t like to share information with other apps so although you can display your run trainer on your wrist, the watch won’t tell your app what your heart rate was.

All this information is meaningless without one key component: You have to want to move. And improve. If you’re not motivated to move more than there’s absolutely nothing any activity device can do for you! So think about HOW you want to be active and then think about the features you need in order to PUSH YOURSELF FURTHER.

If all you want to do is walk, any pedometer will do. If you want to bike or run, something that measures active heart rate plus distance in miles. For Zumba I don’t move very far but my heart rate goes through the roof. If you have any questions, post them below! I’d be happy to help!

Yes, I sent my kids to camp

Confession: I live with a reasonable amount of paranoia. Having kids brings about nightmares at times because your heart beats outside of your chest! I couldn’t stand the thought of anything bad happening to them.

Child sexual abuse is a scary, SCARY thing.

Naturally I started off with this idea that my kids will never leave my sight. They’ll never go play at friend’s houses without me. They’ll never spend the night anywhere. Not even public school! My oldest son had a terrifying experience in public school and I decided to homeschool.

That solves all our problems. Keeping every one under my watch 24/7.

No date nights or vacations. Ever. I live 6000 miles away from my mother. We don’t have any trusted relatives. Only a few good friends from church.

However, with the statistics being that children are more likely to be abused by someone they know, or a close friend of the family… I’m OK with not living with relatives. And my friend list is small and exclusive.

Solves our problems, right? Wrong. Because now I’m living as a slave to fear and holding my kids hostage. At some point, you just have to hope for the best and prepare for the worst. You have to talk to your kids about being able to talk about anything, anytime. You have to teach them to set boundaries and be safe.

In all realisticness, can I tell my best friends, and children’s pastor, worship leaders, and church volunteers that I love them in Christ – BUT… I secretly think they may be pedophiles? No.

And I refuse to perpetuate the liberal stereotype that Churches house and protect monsters. I’m not naive about church, but I believe whole heartedly that the body of Christ is beautiful and glorious. And we’re all sincerely trying to do our best to love God and love others.Therefore, when our church was hosting summer camps for our elementary aged kids, and when the camp director graciously granted my family a scholarship for all three kids to attend, we said yes. My boys left on Monday and return Friday. Next week my daughter goes.

And all paranoia pushed aside, I pray they are having a wonderful, God-filled, outdoor time.

Dear Mom of Little Ones

Confession: The worst period for me was when my kids were between the ages of 1-5.

Yes, my kids were the cutest. But if I’m honest, I lived in burn-out-ville. Their needs are so demanding! I lost all sense of myself.

Now that my youngest is almost 7, I have different bones to pick with this season, but I’m loving parenting so much more now! So as a mom on the other side of the bridge you’re treading, I want to share an open letter of encouragement to you!

10) It IS terrifying to be responsible for a toddler in view of the tragedies at the Cincinnati Zoo or the Orlando resort. So take comfort in that you’re not losing your mind with paranoia! It’s a legitimate concern. You are responsible for keeping a little drunk midget with no awareness of danger and imperfect communication skills. No judgment here! Do whatever it takes for your peace of mind. Helicopter as much as you want.

9) They will eventually potty train and the load you carry on your shoulders (from wipes, diapers, and sippy cups) will get lighter. I promise.

8) They ARE demanding little tyrants! But put this in perspective: they haven’t read “How To Win Friends and Influence People” yet. They don’t know about psychological abuse, or other toxic behaviors such as manipulation, control, or guilt tripping. All they can conceive is what they want at this moment! Guess what? It is entirely YOUR job to teach them that it’s not OK to treat others that way. I feel for you!

You’re in for the four most abusive years of your life, but you won’t even complain about it! You’ll just swell with love every time that little tyrant is asleep. And this too shall pass, they become the sweetest and most compassionate boys and girls you’ll ever meet.

7) When simple grocery trips are an adventure, real adventures become inconceivable. This is seasonal! Don’t feel bad if right now is not the season to go camping or on vacation because it feels overwhelming. It won’t always feel that way. If your outings are short and sweet. If you can’t get your kid to walk more than a mile. It’s only temporary.

6) Weight loss is near impossible. You will put in that DVD and only get through 10 minutes without interruption. You will eat their leftover food and cave to McDonald’s when you don’t have the stamina to sit through broccoli. This too shall pass. If you don’t give up, you can raise kids who eat vegetables and work out WITH you. It’s just not something that happens typically before the age of 5. In the mean time, just do the best you can and be gracious with yourself.

5) You are not the worst mom in the world. It is literally impossible to please everyone! Some days you won’t even be able to please your kids. Just do you, baby girl. Follow your instinct. Trust your gut. Make all the tough choices. Let everyone else leave their complaints at the door.

4) Mom buns, yoga pants, and wine when the kids go to sleep. I won’t judge. Just say yes. Friends! It’s so necessary to stay connected whether through a small group at church or a MOPS meeting… It may feel like your kids are repellent but a true friend “sticks closer than a brother” and will do this parenting journey WITH you even as lionesses bond together in a pride.

3) Learn to say no to busyness now! Taking care of the little ones is a full time job with overtime that you’ll never get paid for. Don’t give to others – even to your church I dare say – out of an empty vessel. Schedule out days off. Be firm with your limits.

2) This will be difficult to believe, but your husband thinks you’re hot. He wants to have sex with you, ICYMI. He married you because he’s passionately in love with you. And your kids will eventually grow up and lead their own lives, your husband is the only one who pledged the rest of his life to you! So date and romance the crap out of your husband at whatever cost necessary.


1) You are not alone. The God of the universe hand picked those souls and put them in your care because you’re the best mom out there for them. He won’t leave you to do this all out of your own strength. As the Great Shepherd, the Bible says:

He protects His flock like a shepherd; He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them in the fold of His garment. He gently leads those that are nursing.
Isaiah 40:11 HCSB

He’s not driving you like oxen through this season, He is gently leading you and your little ones! Even while it feels like you’re herding cats right now.


A transparent look at faith, family, and fitness from my perspective…